Right off the bat, let me put it out there that this Bircher muesli is not traditional in any sense. I’ve taken the liberty to use what suits my convenience and palette and by all means, please feel free to do the same here with my recipe — I personally love this combination but it’s easily adaptable, you’ll see how.
Some background: Maxmilian Bircher-Brenner was a Swiss doctor and nutritionist who spearheaded the concept of raw food vegetarianism in the 19th century (in what was then a very meat-centric society). He believed that raw foods contained direct energy from the sun, and cooking deprived these foods of their nutritional content. As a consequence of this belief, he developed recipes using raw foods to make them more appealing to his patients. ‘Cooking’ muesli in this fashion being one such. I don’t know enough on the subject to comment on his practices, but I’m thankful for this gem.
Oats—definitely use only rolled oats here. Steel-cut doesn’t soak the liquid very well and has too much of a bite to it however long you soak it for. Instant, don’t even think about – it’ll completely disintegrate into the soaking liquid and you’ll end up with a stodgy mush. Not fun.
Soaking and soaking liquid—I personally prefer to soak the oats overnight. It takes a bit of time for the rolled oats to soften and usually making it the night before you want to eat it for breakfast seems like the best and most efficient way of going about it. Moving onto juices, apple juice is the most popular option. I love this variant too, but I change things about based on what’s easily available and in season. Follow your own adventure here.
Mix-ins and toppings—To serve, I like to stir in a dollop of yogurt loosened with warm milk. This is again up to personal preference – a dollop of crème fraîche, cream, condensed milk are all viable options. Spicage wise, cinnamon works wonderfully with both orange and apple. Nuts and dried fruits are optional but recommended; for texture as well as taste. What kind you use is entirely up to you (soak the dried fruits with the oats so it softens a bit; nuts can be sprinkled over the top just before serving).
ORANGE BIRCHER MUESLI
- 75 grams rolled oats
- 2 tbsp raisins or sultanas (or other dried fruits)
- 1 ½ cups orange juice (see notes)
- 1/4 cup yogurt
- A splash of warm milk to loosen
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- Chopped nuts to serve (optional)
- Honey or sweetener of your choice (optional)
- Orange segments, to serve
- Add oats, raisins, ground cinnamon and orange juice to a bowl and stir to combine. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight or for at least 6 hours.
- If your yogurt is thick, add a bit of milk to loosen. You’re looking for a pour-able, double cream consistency.
- To serve, divide the oats between bowls and stir enough of the milk and yogurt mixture to get a porridge-like consistency. Top with orange segments and nuts and serve cold or at room temperature.